Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/13/2004 03:25 PM House FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 439                                                                                                            
     An  Act  relating  to  the   authority  to  take  oaths,                                                                   
     affirmations,   and   acknowledgments   in  the   state;                                                                   
     relating  to  notaries  public;  relating  to  fees  for                                                                   
     issuing  certificates   with  the  seal  of   the  state                                                                   
     affixed; and providing for an effective date.                                                                              
ANNETTE KREITZER,  CHIEF OF STAFF,  OFFICE OF  THE LIEUTENANT                                                                   
GOVERNOR, pointed  out the positive fiscal  note accompanying                                                                   
HB  439.    She highlighted  the  comparison  chart  and  the                                                                   
sectional analysis.  (Copy on  File).  The sectional analysis                                                                   
outlines  the  changes  that  occurred  in  the  House  State                                                                   
Affairs and House Judiciary Committees.                                                                                         
The bill  is a result  of research handled  by the  Office of                                                                   
the Lieutenant Governor and among  12,000 notaries statewide.                                                                   
In the prepared bill, the qualification  age has been lowered                                                                   
to  18  years  old.    The  residency   requirement  made  is                                                                   
consistent  with  general  residency  statute  AS  01.10.055,                                                                   
rather than separate definition.   The terms would remain the                                                                   
same.  The $2  dollar per certificate fee has  been increased                                                                   
to  $5 dollars  per certificate.    The bond  amount was  not                                                                   
Ms.  Kreitzer  continued,  highlighting   the  two  types  of                                                                   
commissions,  public notaries  and  the limited  governmental                                                                   
notary public commissions.  The  Lt. Governor, for good cause                                                                   
via a formal disciplinary procedure,  could make a commission                                                                   
revocation.    The  notary  information  currently  available                                                                   
remains  unchanged.   The notary's    name, mailing  address,                                                                   
surety  information  and  commission  dates  continue  to  be                                                                   
publicly available.   There  will be no  changes to  the non-                                                                   
commissioned notaries.                                                                                                          
Ms. Kreitzer added that it is  intended to move toward a web-                                                                   
based system.                                                                                                                   
Representative  Foster   referenced  the  comparison   chart,                                                                   
inquiring how it was intended to work in rural Alaska.                                                                          
SCOTT CLARK,  NOTARY ADMINISTRATOR, OFFICE OF  THE LIEUTENANT                                                                   
GOVERNOR, explained  that beside commercial bonds,  there are                                                                   
individual  assurities.   A person  applying  for the  notary                                                                   
commission can  have a relative  or friend act assurity  on a                                                                   
bond.   It does not  involve any  expense on the  applicant's                                                                   
Representative  Foster  pointed out  that  the chart  implies                                                                   
that applicants  cannot have  a felon  conviction for  a ten-                                                                   
year period.   Mr. Clark  responded that currently  there are                                                                   
no restrictions for felons serving as notaries.                                                                                 
Ms. Kreitzer  stated that  the bill  had not been  introduced                                                                   
with  language addressing  that  concern.   The Lt.  Governor                                                                   
offered to consider  the right to be a notary  if there was a                                                                   
good  compromise.     From  statistics,  the   Department  of                                                                   
Corrections  has  indicated that  if  someone  was free  from                                                                   
committing  a  felony  for  10-years  following  the  initial                                                                   
felony,  there is  a good  chance  that person  would not  be                                                                   
committing another  felony.  She clarified that  the language                                                                   
was a  compromise.  That  statement surprised  Representative                                                                   
Foster as  he thought  a person  could not  vote if  they had                                                                   
been a  felon.  Ms. Kreitzer  advised that voting  rights can                                                                   
be restored.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Williams  stated  that  HB  439 would  be  HELD  in                                                                   
Committee for further consideration.                                                                                            

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